Eloquii’s CEO on Data and Design: IRCE18 Recap
Eloquii is a trend-driven fashion brand for women who are sizes fourteen and up. The “plus-size” market the brand serves is growing twice the rate of the “straight-size” market (sizes twelve and below). However, today, that market includes just 20% of US women’s apparel spend. Across channels and categories, Eloquii’s CEO, Mariah Chase, wishes to own fashion in the minds of the plus-size audience. To do that, Chase and her team are looking at data and allowing their customers’ demands to drive business decisions.
The fashion cycle, by and large, is gone. The market is fragmented into smaller segments, which is causing demand and lifecycles to be far more unpredictable than in the past. If anything can be said, it’s that the new trend in fashion is no trend. In response, Chase uses demand data to drive incremental revenue, margin, and customer acquisition.
For example, the company was preparing to add a new product: a rainbow-colored dress. It’s hardly a closet staple, and demand would be hard to predict. Several weeks before it was available to ship and sell, the ecommerce team put an image of the dress on the site with specs and the ability to waitlist. Within 48 hours of the rainbow dress going up on the site, the team learned that it was going to be a winner and could predict demand. They used that information to order more inventory and asked their editorial team to shoot lifestyle photos for promotional materials and more.
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Much has changed with pricing over the last few years. In Chase’s opinion, ecommerce has placed deflationary pressure on the market. For example, many brick-and-mortar chains feel they have too many stores and thus put more revenue pressure on their ecommerce channels which are becoming more promotional. To compound this stress, when one company does that, the competitors feel obligated to follow. Even with unique products, customers will research and compare to similar products.
To combat this, Chase uses customer data to test prices dynamically. About a year ago, Eloquii began using dynamic pricing and has since seen a significant margin increase for products that are dynamically priced throughout their lifecycle.
Chase and her team took a look at insights marketing last year, and three key personas emerged. When they launched Eloquii’s first swimwear collection, they looked at the demographics of the customers who were buying–they tended to be younger, have a considerable margin, be a little more urban, and highly social and engaged. That was their primary persona, the “it girl.” Once they knew who the collection appealed to, they created a campaign to acquire more customers of that type. They created a video day called “laundry day” and bought media on channels used by their key persona, Instagram and Hulu. While the campaign was running, the suit featured in the ad spiked to the top ten products on their site.
In the past year, data has revealed that the web influenced 50% of all Eloquii purchases. That said, 80% of apparel purchases are still made in stores. Everything is tied together these days. They are inextricably linked together. Omnichannel customers are three times more valuable than single-channel customers.
Chase never considered opening physical stores, until the customers started asking for it. Aside from convenience, Eloquiii noticed that the three items above were the reason stores were so popular. Today, the styling appointments have four times the size baskets.
A Customer-Driven Brand
Chase came to the company from a fashion world where designers drive trends and merchants tell customers, “This is what you’re going to buy at this price and for how long.” Today, that trend is fading fast as consumers gain power. Designers created the dream that the customers bought, but today, customers define the dream and their version of beauty. They decide who and how it will be communicated.
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